kinetic sound installation

project by:
David Letellier in collaboration with LAb[au]
year of realisation: 2010

Tessel is a co-production of the galleries:
MediaRuimte (Brussels) and Roger Tator (Lyon)

realized with the financial support of
Arcadi and Dicream
Commission des Arts Numériques de la Communauté Française de Belgique


Tessel is a kinetic installation investigating the perception of sound and space.

The installation is constituted of a suspended and articulated topography of 4 x 2 m, subdivided into forty triangles. Twelve of them are fitted with motors and eight are equipped with audio transducers, which transform the surface into a dynamic sonic space. The surface slowly modifies its shape, choreographing a dialogue between sculpture and sound while altering our perception. From Tinguely's poetic machines to Alexander Calder's mobiles or Buckminster Fuller's synergetics, Tessel questions the link between geometry and movement, while continuing the quest for synesthetic perception of sonic and spatial phenomenons.

The name 'Tessel' is derived from 'tessellation', a term applied to the geometric subdivision of a surface into plane figures, also known as 'tiling'. It also describes a software technique that allows calculation of renderings through the subdivision of surfaces into polygons. The term has its origin in the Latin word 'tessella', describing the square tiles used to make mosaics.

Tessellation has been applied throughout history from ancient to modern times, from two to n-dimensional configurations and merges science and art through mathematics. Here Tessel is based on the 'pinwheel pattern', a non-periodic tiling coined by mathematicians Charles Radin and John Conway, which allows the creation of an infinitely complex geometry constructed with a simple single 'seed': a right triangle. Here, the pinwheel pattern is transformed, folded and transposed to the third dimension.

Tessel is a collaboration between French composer and artist David Letellier, and LAb[au], Belgian electronic arts studio. Tessel is a co-production of the galleries MediaRuimte (Brussels) and Roger Tator (Lyon), realised with the financial support of Arcadi, Dicream and the Commission des Arts Numériques de la Communauté Française de Belgique.

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